Both of these books, in very different ways, explore aesthetic and philosophical resistance to the production and enforcement of strict racial hierarchies. Stéphane Robolin centers his study in the years of South African apartheid (Afrikaans for separateness), a set of policies enacted from 1948 to 1994 that rigidly demarcated, disfranchised, and prohibited the movements and actions of those the state designated black, coloured, or Indian. But as historian Carl H. Nightingale demonstrates in Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities (2012), different levels of government—colonial, municipal, and provincial—had long imposed racially segregationist policies in that region, as had colonial governments and settler colonial states throughout much of the world. Although Nightingale distinguishes such spatial policies from those that tended to accompany slavery, in which elites often valued proximity to workers for the purposes of surveillance, he notes that the racial concepts...

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